I live in Wellington, New Zealand.

My career choice was initially not with information technology but instead with Radio and Electronics for which I served a 4 year apprenticeship after leaving school. I ended up specialising in Television repair working in the service department at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Wellington. The troubleshooting skills learnt in an industry like this are invaluable.

I began working with SQL Server in 1999 whilst employed by Siemens in Wellington. SQL Server 6.5 was the database back-end for their Advantage(tm) access-control product. This was my introduction to SQL Server and it was at this point, after tinkering around with Windows NT4.0 and TCP/IP networks, that I decided my career path was as a database administrator.

In 2001 I moved into a full time role as a database administrator with New Zealand's largest supermarket chain. The environment was a mixture of SQL 6.5 and SQL 7.0. Transactional replication was heavily employed from their head office out to 62 remote sites over a 128k circuit. The Publisher and Distributor ran on an active/active cluster on Windows 2000 and SQL 7.0. Inside head office there were another 38 servers bringing the total to approx 90 SQL Servers. This included a combination of development and production as the retail application was developed in-house. Some of the dev servers also ran on VMWare workstation back then. During my time there, I worked to upgrade the whole environment up to SQL 2000. I was also responsible for the company's Peoplesoft application database running on SQL Server 2000 on a Unisys ES7000 platform. DR was provided by log-shipping to Auckland. I started using backup compression tools back then as it was necessary to be able to log ship the large transaction logs.

I then moved on to a role in New Zealand Defence as a senior DBA in their production environment. They also do all their software development in-house. As part of this job I had to get security clearance to work in a Top Secret environment. One of my first jobs there was to put together a hardened spec of SQL Server 2000 and 2005 and deploy this across their environment. I implemented the use of a dedicated management server exclusively for DBA use for monitoring and management of the SQL Server infrastructure. I was also involved in providing 2nd level support to the Sharepoint team. I had some exposure to Oracle and attended Oracle 9i training.

At the end of 2006 I moved to Bangkok, Thailand to work for a software development company (Global Care Solutions) which has since been sold to Microsoft. As well as supporting 30 developers with SQL tuning and database related issues, I also looked after the production system at Bumrungrad Hospital for whom they are one of the companys' development partners. Their system was also SQL 2000 and DR was log shipping to a secondary building on site. During my time there, the hardware was replaced in Bumrungrad and so an upgrade of the hospital system to SQL 2005 was also carried out at the same time. The concept was still the same... Windows 2003 on a 2-node single instance cluster on an EMC 3-80 SAN (x2). I consider myself fortunate to work on the Rolls-Royce of systems as this SAN was all high speed disk with around 100 spindles. At that time, the database was around 2TB. It was possible to backup AND restore (using SQL Litespeed) this database in around 1 1/2 hours. DR was also upgraded to synchronous database mirroring which handled the load satisfactorily with no noticeable latency. The application is a form of ERP application managing all hospital functions and uses a single database (radiology, payroll, accounting, HR, X-ray). The database is modeled using Erwin and comprises over 3500 tables. The system in production at Bumrungrad processes around 200 transactions per second. Apart from the main development database, I was responsible for keeping a smaller version in sync on a weekly basis so that the BA's had a development system as current as possible to test against.

After each upgrade of the production database/application in the hospital system, myself and the leading DBA worked to locate and performance tune under-performing queries.

The application is now known as the Microsoft Amalga HIS (Hospital Information System). You can read about it here.

I spent just over 6 months working for Microsoft. It was interesting to see the inner workings of this software giant.

Since mid 2008, I've been employed as a Senior DBA for Kiwibank in Wellington. In their environment, Kiwibank use Red Gate's SQL Backup for all the SQL Server backups. Again, I've implemented the use of a management server exclusively for DBA use which acts as our Central Management Server (CMS). We use this as our repository for SQL Server 2008's MDW, capacity management, auditing and SQL 2008's Policy Based Management. We are in the process of moving all data processing to a central processing system to be distributed across the bank. All SQL Servers are being upgraded to SQL Server 2008, completely eliminating SQL Server 2000. At the end of 2009 a dual instance 3 node cluster was implemented for housing all the databases that interact with our customer facing channels. These databases are then mirrored to Wellington.

Since 2011, I hold the position of Technical Lead for the team of DBA's in the Bank and part of this involves setting the database strategy.

I'm a member of the local PASS chapter and attend the PASS conference in Seattle ieach year since 2008. PASS Summit is an annual event and is the biggest gathering of SQL Server professionals in the world. All of the best known names in the industry attend as speakers each year so attending this event is a must-do if you want to accelerate your career. I'd also recommend PASS over any other event like SQL Connections or Tech-Ed (which I've attended both) because it is dedicated wholly to SQL Server. Microsoft actively participate each year and there is the opportunity to buy all the the sessions on dvd. This is because each session is recorded for audio and slides (including demos) and this means that if you miss any sessions that you can always catch up on those others via dvd.

My key competencies include;

*** UPDATE ***

MCM Knowledge exam passed on 17 October 2011

*** UPDATE 4 September 2013 ***

Successful completion of the Microsoft Certified Master qualification

View My Certification Transcript